Former Renault UK Clio Cup champion Phil Glew says that the new speed-limited Renault UK Clio Cup Junior championship will help youngsters home their race craft more efficiently.
New for 2017, the Renault UK Clio Cup Junior championship will feature six two-race weekends, all separate to the senior championship that forms part of the TOCA support package alongside the British Touring Car Championship.
One of those to have sampled the junior machine most of all in its early life has been GT racer and 2009 UK Clio Cup champion, Glew, who says that the new series will be both fun and challenging for young drivers.
“It’s very impressive”, Glew told assembled media including The Checkered Flag of the car at Rockingham. “It’s been tested at Magny-Cours to compare it against other junior categories and to make it that little bit quicker.
“We’ve also been working on a lot of different type of tyres; we found the best that worked in both wet and dry [conditions], we tested it at Silverstone GP circuit and it was mega. I enjoyed driving it more than the current race car on slicks.
“With it being a road tyre, it moves about and it makes it that bit more lively so I enjoyed driving it. It’s safe enough, but it’s also fun enough.”
The cars in question will be limited to a maximum speed of 100mph, plus a five-speed gearbox to comply with Junior racing regulations. Coupled with road-going Michelin’s Pilot Sport 3 tyres, Glew adds that the junior machines will be more lively than their senior counterparts, something he feels will help youngsters develop their race craft.
“With speed obviously limited, it will teach them how to carry more corner speed”, adds Glew.
“When they move up to the senior class, they will appreciate it a lot more and know how to get the best out of more grip. You’ve got more time before corners, so you can think about the corner exit a lot more.
“We tried using four gears, we tried changing springs and dampers and it turned out the best way to do it was leave it as standard, then put different tyres on them and re-map the cars. The next step will be to get drivers in it and organise some tests for drivers to come along to.”
Drivers will also have the luxury of being able to use their cars in both the senior and junior UK Clio Cups, a step up requiring an ECU change and a switch to Michelin Pilot Sport road tyres.
On the possibility of current teams sharing cars between both championships, Glew added: “Certain teams probably wouldn’t if there’s a race too close, but it’s the beauty of it.”